More often than not, city breaks are cheaper in the off-peak winter months through October to February. Or perhaps you have chosen to travel during this frozen season because your destination will be much prettier during the Christmassy months, covered in a layer of pristine snow and surrounded by the aroma of mulled wine and mince pies. But these holidays are very different from those which only require a bikini and SPF20, so we’ve compiled a list of the essentials when travelling on a winter break and how best to prepared for the cold abroad.
Top Winter Outfits:
No matter what else you pack, bringing a pair of long under garments with you when you travel can be invaluable when it comes to keeping warm. These don’t necessarily need to be ski-grade thermals or helly hansens finest designer underwear because let’s face it, no one is going to see them. Of course you don’t even specially need thermals, in New York I often wore a thin turtleneck underneath my jumpers which provided plenty of warmth.That also means that unless you are travelling somewhere for a long period of time with no access to laundry facilities, you don’t need to pack more than one set, saving you valuable space in your luggage if you’re only travelling for a weekend on Ryanair(although I know you have to pay for that now too).
I was able to grab some really cheap thermal underwear from primark, where they sell the bottoms and top separately (useful if you’re a different size in each). I also was able to find thermals in Aldi for around £8 a set (top and leggings) although this may have been one of their seasonal items. Tesco, George etc all do thermal at quite reasonable prices. As well as sports clothing stores which obviously have the ski-type thermals including sports direct and decathlon.
Jumpers, thick sweaters, other knitted tops and although it may seem like these are bulky items, I found that using vacuum bags helped me save loads of space. I got mine from a poundshop and they were the best thing ever when travelling to New York and Toronto. I filled them with my jumpers and hoodies, opened the valve and vacuumed all the air out so they were more compact in my luggage. I would definitely recommend these if you are travelling with bulky items, or even clothes that won’t crease, these could be great to help you fit more in your luggage.
Again, snow gets wet, so not only do you want a pair of shoes that will keep your feet warm but also dry. Vans trainers etc might be a good idea if you know the conditions won’t be wet, but once their soaked they are pretty much a gonner for the rest of your trip. I have always found ankle boots are the best option as they provide more protection from the elements and you can get away with more layers of socks underneath!
With the best will in the world, the chances of you getting ill are still pretty high. Pack some backup paracetamol lemsip etc for incase you do get ill, finding the equivalents in other countries can be confusing and expensive.
Lipbalm, in cold conditions chapped lips are a given.
of course there are the obvious bits like a good pair of gloves - a probably the ones with fingers that work with touch screen phones are helpful (primark £1!) as well as a thick scarf. Let me know in the comments what your essential items when travelling during a winter break!